A316 The Fans Road To Freedom

For those of you unfamiliar with the Twickenham area, the A316, also known as the Great Chertsey road, is a dual carriageway that houses on one side, the home of English rugby, and four lanes away over on the other, The Stoop, home of Harlequins rugby club.

On Saturday four of the top teams in the men’s and women’s game, graced us with their presence, a wonderful day of rugby, with crowds, that warmed our hearts and gladdened the soul, after months of empty and lifeless stadiums, that creaked and groaned without the lifeblood of sport, the fans.

Temperatures more akin to November, than May were a minor inconvenience, and the squally showers did nothing dampen the excitement and enthusiasm shown on the field, and in the stands.

There was something for everyone, for the romantics there was the beauty and joy of Jess Breach and Cheslin Kolbe, for the more industrially inclined we had Will Skelton and Vickii Cornborough.

At the Stoop 2,000 fans turned up to watch Harlequins Women beat Wasps in the Allianz Premiership semi finals, whilst across the road 10,000 making the noise of 25,000, viewed a bruising Heineken Champions Cup Final between La Rochelle and Toulouse.

As ever to the winners the spoils. Toulouse and Harlequins emerged victorious, but in many ways the day belonged to the fans, and as the sun broke through the dark clouds towards the end of the Champions Cup Final, it seemed a perfect metaphor for the events of the last 15 months, I think the A316 will be a lot busier next season, fingers crossed.

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